Aston Martin is set to have a revised chassis for the 2021 season. The Formula 1 outfit has suggested that it has spent its allocated development tokens to unlock this area of the car. the team believes it will help unlock more performance.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said the team was optimistic following the rebranding from Racing Point to Aston Martin and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel.
“We didn’t have the normal latitude of development that we usually do, so from a philosophy standpoint running a low rake car, that’s stayed the same,” Szafnauer said.
“Although the philosophy is a carry over, we will still have a lot of new parts on the car, a lot of new aerodynamic development and even a new chassis for us as well. So although the car will be similar to last year it’s predominantly new.”
Last year, FIA introduced a development freeze and token system to cut costs and allow for an all-new car. That has now been delayed till 2022.
As a result, most of the main hardware that the cars use will be carried forward from last season. Teams, however, will have the option of spending two tokens to ensure that they aren’t handicapped by a specific design aspect from the past model.
It appears like Aston Martin has spent its two tokens on the survival cell.
The survival cell has two sections, both of which carry the cost of two tokens. This naturally means that only one can be altered.
It is likely that Aston Martin has made changes to the rearward section of the survival cell to reverse a decision taken last season.
Modelled on the Mercedes W10, the RP20 had the Side Impact Protection Spars (SIPS) above the sidepod inlet last season. As a result, theRP20 became the only team on the circuit not to have the SIPS in the lower slung position. This is the way Ferrari had first used it in 2017.
Aerodynamic factors were seen as the primary reason behind the positioning of the SIPS. However, the internal cooling will need to be adjusted for the team to enjoy its optimal utility.
Last season, the team spent a sizeable period of time and resources in sorting this out. A major upgrade first used in Mugello featured new sidepod bodywork.
This was a pretty big change which was designed to incorporate the difference between a more efficient AMG M11 power unit. This required far less cooling than earlier. It also helped the team completely change the design it had adopted from the W10.
Aston Martin will look to make the most of any advantage it can get
It is highly likely that this year’s design will work on the same principal. It will include the bodywork from last season and another new power unit from HPP. However, the SIPS will be lower slung.
The 2020 season saw Racing Point, now Aston Martin, in a tough spot regarding the token system. Along with Alpha Tauri, they switched parts through Mercedes and Red Bull technologies without having to spend any tokens.
This means that both will be able to use a 2020 specification gearbox and rear suspension layout. Aston Martin is sure to use any advantage it can get.
The W11 had a new layout as far as its rear suspension is concerned. The rear leg of the lower wishbone was fixed higher and further back.
This was done for aerodynamic reasons as opposed to mechanical ones.